Danube Program

The Danube Program (Romanian: Programul Dunărea)[1] was a secret Romanian project to develop their own nuclear weapons. The project began in 1981, and lasted until 1989.

Map of countries which had nuclear weapon research projects, or nuclear weapons


In 1970 the Socialist Republic of Romania ratified the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which banned them from developing and building their own nuclear weapons.[2] However, from 1981 until 1989, Romania had a nuclear weapons program, including plutonium extraction facilities.[3] In 1992, after the Romanian Revolution, the new government reported the infraction to the International Atomic Energy Agency voluntarily, who then reported it to the UN Security Council.[4]


Romania acquired Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) from United States of America's Atoms for Peace program, which gave highly enriched uranium to many countries. The project made use of a nuclear reactor, that had been given to them by the United States, to create plutonium from the HEU.[4] Although the project succeeded in creating plutonium, it did not actually construct any nuclear bombs,[3] although it is estimated that with the materials the project had, they could have made up to 240 plutonium bombs, assuming that 10 kilograms (22 lb) of plutonium would be used for every bomb.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Visingr, Lukáš; Mareš, Miroslav (2015). "Is there a threat of nuclear proliferation in Central and Eastern Europe?". Regional Security Interdependence. Masaryk University Press. pp. 110–130.
  2. ^ "Nuclear Power in Romania | Romanian Nuclear Energy - World Nuclear Association". www.world-nuclear.org. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  3. ^ a b Jo, Dong-Joon; Gartzke, Erik. "Codebook and Data Notes for "DETERMINANTS OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROLIFERATION: A QUANTITATIVE MODEL"" (PDF). Pages.ucsd.edu. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  4. ^ a b Roe, Sam. "An atomic threat made in America". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  5. ^ "Emerging nuclear weapon states | Nuclear Darkness & Nuclear Famine". www.nucleardarkness.org. Retrieved 31 March 2017.